The Smashing Pumpkins on Wednesday staged act one of their three-part ATUM rock opera. Set for full release in April 2023, the 33-song epic serves as the highly anticipated follow-up to Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995) and Machina/The Machines of God (2000).

From the opening title track of ATUM – Act 1, one of the most apparent elements is the widespread use of synthesizers. Futuristic synths abound throughout the entire 11-track first installment and combine with grand production to give this third a shimmering aura. Act one finds some grit interspersed on tracks like “Beyond the Vale” and “Steps in Time”, with the latter containing an exceedingly rare guitar solo.

A song like “The Good in Goodbye” serves as a fitting paradigm of act one. Beginning with 40 seconds of satellite beeping, the song ultimately gives way to some heavier guitar and drums, though not until after plenty of prelude. With 33 songs across three parts, there’s lots of space to fill.

Though the band now hosts three-fourths of the original lineup—with guitarist James Iha returning for 2020’s Cyr to join bandleader Billy Corgan and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin—much of the substantial instrumentation is obscured by flashy production. Chamberlin’s drums are simplistic and filtered, with Iha kept on a short leash most of the time. Corgan’s vocals are at the forefront of every track (aside from the opening instrumental), though paradoxically much of the lyrics are difficult to decipher. In short, ATUM – Act 1 strikes a tone of overproduced minimalism. Hopefully, this is just setting the scene for a climactic second act.

Related: The Smashing Pumpkins Perform “Today”, Talk New Rock Opera On ‘Corden’ [Watch]

Stream the first installment of The Smashing Pumpkins’ ATUM rock opera below. The band is currently wrapping up the Spirits On Fire Tour with Jane’s Addiction. For tickets and a full list of dates visit their website.

The Smashing Pumpkins – ATUM – Act 1